THE ALCHEMIST – Chase Your Dream


Every human being will have a dream (Goal) in their early age of life. Unfortunately, many people don’t believe their dream and started living a life they are not supposed to live. The reason behind the decision is the “FEAR OF FAILURE”.

This Fear of failure will create negative thoughts (like imagining themselves as a Loser) and stops them to chase their dreams. Self-motivation is the only way to overcome these negative thoughts. One of the best books for self-motivation is Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece “THE ALCHEMIST”.

[Those who read the book skip to the next article. Others go head]

Facts about “THE ALCHEMIST”:

  • Author: Paulo Coelho
  • Initial Publication year: 1988
  • Published in English: 1993
  • No of copies Sold: More than 70 million
  • No of languages translated: 72

Brief Summary:

It is the story of a shepherd boy from the Spanish province of Andalusia who dreams of traveling the world in search of a treasure as desirable as any ever found. Throughout his journey, he meets various people and gains a lot of experiences (like motivation, Betrayal and even falls in love with a girl). Irrespective of all these experiences he continues his journey towards “Chasing his dream” with the help of a wise alchemist. At the end of his journey, he realizes his self-potential and the location of hidden treasure.
It may look like a simple story but explodes with the philosophy of life throughout the book. Now let me share “what I have realized” from the novel through the lead characters.

Santiago (The Young Shepherd):

Why author created his hero as “Young boy”? Why can’t be a middle or age-old person? The answer is simple “The young boy exactly replicates each of us at our teenage and early twenties of our life”. It is the turbulent stage of life figuring out “How to choose our career? (Or) How to achieve our dreams?”
Within a few pages author introduces Santiago’s parents with a conversation between father and son. His parents had wanted him to be “priest” but Santiago argues he wants to travel around the world. Along the argument his father says “Amongst us, the only ones who travel are the shepherds”, without any hesitation Santiago replies “Well, then I’ll be a shepherd”. From the conversation, it’s clear that “to chase his passion Santiago ready to accept any challenge”.
[Now let me ask a question “how many of us choose our under graduate course based on our passion?” Only a few, but most of us obey our parent’s order and join a course as per their wish. This results in a mediocre performance throughout our career]

The Gypsy (dream interpreter):

A repeated dream haunts Santiago’s normal life. By Curiosity, he meets an old woman who can interpret dreams. After listening carefully to Santiago’s dream she says “dreams are the language of God. When he speaks in our language, I can interpret what he has said. But if he speaks in the language of the soul, only you can understand”.
[It’s a powerful message by author “that we must listen to our intuition” which always guides us throughout our life]

An old wise man (The King of Salem):

The entire conversation between the old man and Santiago are philosophical and mesmerizing. One among them is “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” This is the most vital message in this novel by the author.
[This is my favorite one and from my experience, it is hundred percent true]

Crystal merchant:

On his journey, Santiago reaches a place called “Tangier” there he meets a young man and both become friends. But the young man betrays Santiago by stealing all his valuables. At first, Santiago thought the young man accidentally separated but later realized he deliberately cheated him. A completely rattled Santiago wanders through the streets of Tangier and stops at a crystal shop. He asks permission for “Cleaning the glasses in the window in exchange for food”. But the crystal merchant didn’t respond to his offers. Without hesitation, Santiago took his jacket and starts cleaning the windows. Meantime two customers enter the shop and buy crystal, now crystal merchant believes Santiago as a sign of “good omens”, so he offers him food and appoints him as a labor.
[Any person who takes his first step towards chasing his dreams will undergo various challenges which may result in “frustration, disappointment, or complete failure”. The one who overcomes these odd circumstances will move forward others will simply quit.] Another important message from the Crystal merchant character is “Mind Set of ordinary people”. He never tries new techniques to improve his Business or to accomplish his lifelong pilgrimage travel. After Santiago’s effort the crystal shop soars to a new horizon in the business meantime he leaves the shop to chase his dreams.
A beautiful quote by crystal merchant is “Every blessing ignored becomes a curse”. (At first, he ignores Santiago)
[Here “blessing” can be either considered as person or opportunities that we ignored which result for our sufferings]

The Englishmen:

Another fellow companion travels with Santiago through the desert is an Englishmen. He is searching for an “ALCHEMIST” (a person who knows how to transform a base metal to gold) to learn the technique. At certain period he realizes that “he should try by himself rather than asking help from others”.
[In this world, there are plenty of highly talented people just live normal lives because of one word “FEAR OF FAILURE”. They have all their ideas in their mind but never executed due to fear of failure. The one who executes his ideas becomes successful person others merely “Daydreamers”.]


On his way to pyramids Santiago reaches “OASIS” (a greenish place in the hot and dry desert). Their he meets a girl named Fatima. Love at first sight-Santiago proposes- at first she runs away-later she accepts. Now the time comes for Santiago to make a decision “whether to Chase his Dreams or marry Fatima and live a happy life at Oasis?” for this question Fatima answers amazingly “If I am really part of your dream, you’ll come back one day.” Also another quote from the author is “true love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny”
[Through Fatima character the author conveys a vital message “a true love will always encourage men/women to achieve their dream]

The Alchemist:

“The alchemist” is the most powerful character of the novel (while reading my mind imagined Oded Fehr as Alchemist from movie mummy). He helps Santiago to discover his self- potential and accompany him near to the destiny. Then he asks Santiago to move alone to achieve his goal.
[Unfortunately in our real life, many of us never meet an alchemist “who motivates us or guide us in a difficult situation.” We come across only lots of advising mouths rather than helping hands]


Is there any Alchemist who turns base metal into gold?
There is a person in India named Pullela Gopichand, who rewritten a new era in Indian Badminton by producing world-class players like Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap, and Srikanth Kidambi by spending his own money for building a world-class badminton training facility.
Gopichand Badminton Academy
Saina won Bronze, P.V. Sindhu won Silver… If someone from the Academy wins “Gold”. Then my words will become true “GOPICHAND – The real ALCHEMIST”
“Anyone who wishes to chase his dreams” must read this book to stay positive.

About Author:

Manoharan Sundaresan
Founder –

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment